A digital collage. A dog shakes off a rainbow of water in an empty parking lot in downtown Minneapolis.

A Car Storage Spot by Any Other Name

Fun fact: etymonline traces the word “park” meaning “to put (a vehicle) in a certain place” directly back to the storage of military equipment on commons grounds.

Car storage spots aren’t a human right, but housing is. The way building codes currently are, you must pay for this luxury that is a couple dozen square feet of pavement, if you live in a place constructed after 1963ish. (If it were up to me, the people who want to rent car storage spots would sign a separate lease and have separate rent for that square footage.)

When a new place gets built, it’s fashionable to decry that it’s not for working people, because it has a dogwash. But toward the overall cost of the building, which makes the rent go up higher: 1 dogwash for 100 units, or 120+ car storage spots for those 100 units? I don’t have a car, but I also don’t have a dog. Both of these costs aren’t things I need, but it’s much easier to swallow the cost of 1/100th of a dogwash room inside the building, even if it’s gold-plated and marble-walled, than my share of a multi-story secured underground pit for cars.

Here’s a quick Q&A with my visionary friend Kyle who writes on here sometimes.

Q: What would the world look like if we all had dogwashes instead of car storage spots?
A: The answer is extremely obvious. If we all had dogwashes instead of car storage spots, the world would be completely filled with the rainbows found in the rain that comes off of wet dogs when they shake themselves off. Essentially, the world would be stocked to capacity with these rainbows. Most parking lots, being no longer relevant due to humanity’s unshackling from cars, will have to be repurposed to provide these rainbows with enough area to flourish.

I’m advocating for this car-centric piece of city code to be removed. Join me today.

A dog shakes off a rainbow spray of colors on a surface lot in downtown Minneapolis. Image credits: “Kyle’s Vision” by Christa Moseng is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, “Water Spray from Fountain Head (Denver Botanic Gardens)” by @CarShowShooter is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0, “dog-shakes-itself-750625_1280” by localpups is licensed under CC BY 2.0, “Surface Parking Lot, Minneapolis, MN” by Zach K is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Pine Salica

About Pine Salica

Pine lives in Minneapolis and works in Saint Paul. Pine hasn't owned a car for over a dozen years, and can count on one hand the number of times they've operated one in the last 12 months. Housing is a human right, car storage is not. Member of the Climate Committee.

6 thoughts on “A Car Storage Spot by Any Other Name

  1. Ted

    Funny too how often condo associations have long drawn out meetings about installing bike parking but car parking is always just considered a given. Maybe those who don’t want their car parking spots can opt to have it converted to parking for 20+ bikes if the building covers the cost of the racks.

  2. Jenny WernessJenny WernessModerator  

    I love the vision of a rainbow-filled future. Thanks for your words and art, Pine, Kyle, and Christa!

  3. Bill Mantis

    I live in Lowertown. The newest apartment building to go up in the neighborhood offers its residents the opportunity to rent an EV stored and charged in the building’s garage. It’s an idea we should all hope catches on.

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